How do you decide what information to trust about Covid-19 and what is safe for you to do and not do?
What’s your best path forward in response to the economy’s impact on your primary practice area?
Should you speak up among your colleagues about your beliefs, values, and experiences around systemic racism? What are the risks if you do? What are the risks if you don’t?
What will life – what will YOUR life – look like six months or two years from now financially, politically, socially, spiritually?
These are just four tough questions among dozens that we’re all confronting amid this singular confluence of economic, biological, and cultural uncertainty.
While it’s obvious that we’re living through a phenomenon none of us have experienced before, what’s less easily grasped is that life was profoundly uncertain long before Coronavirus or George Floyd tragically burst into global consciousness – and further, that the essential character of that uncertainty will not change with the arrival of a vaccine, or an economic recovery, or sweeping social justice reform legislation.
Mother Nature can strike. Key clients or referral sources can leave. Life-threatening diagnoses can arrive suddenly. Markets can crash. Accidents and unforeseen events of all sorts can change our lives in an instant no matter how certain or stable our lives look and feel.
Which is why Eastern spiritual traditions speak of our tenacious pursuit of predictability as stemming from “the illusion of permanence.” Quite understandably, most of us work diligently (though for the most part unconsciously) to avoid confronting the reality of unpredictability and impermanence.
We distract ourselves from this existential uncertainty through workaholism, social media addictions, binge-watching, and other common ways to stay less-than-fully-present in the moment.
“Bill, you’re bummin’ me out here!” (Yes, I acknowledge that possibility, though I trust you know that’s not my intent.) So do read on, because the good news is that this moment presents us with an equally singular opportunity to benefit from what some have called this Great Uncertainty.
The opportunity I’m speaking of is this: Trust yourself more. Grow in your Self-Leadership.
Why? Because there’s no shortage of highly credentialed experts, well-educated commentators, and well-meaning friends sincerely espousing disparate opinions on the four questions above. And even if they had the “right” answer to any of those questions, things could change overnight.
So it’s especially important now to quiet yourself and get to know what your gut is actually telling you about key decisions and actions in your life, both personal and professional. Learning to trust yourself more deeply, to foster Self-Leadership – that is, learning to tap into the source of your confident inner wisdom — is incredibly hard work, yes.
Thankfully, there are more resources available than ever to guide us in the general cultivation of multi-dimensional health, all of which lead to greater self-trust and self-leadership. My recommendation though, is to start with an exploration of how to calm your nervous system through some type of mindfulness practice. Here’s a fantastic place to start: Jon Krop is an attorney and one the leaders in the blossoming world of mindfulness for lawyers. Please, do yourself a favor and take 3 minutes to see if what he says resonates with you at the aptly-named site Mindfulness for Lawyers. I believe you’ll be suitably impressed.